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Being Single Can Lead To Stronger Connection With Others

Being Single Can Lead To Stronger Connection With Others

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a visiting researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara and author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, says that single people are often viewed as lonely and unhappy. However, this seems to be changing as the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that singles make up 50.2% of the population in the United States. This means that for the first time, the majority of adults in the US are unmarried.

“I do think that as the number of single people continues to grow—to well over 100 million adults just in the U.S.—it will be increasingly difficult to maintain the stereotypes and caricatures of single people,” says DePaulo. “There are just too many single people who are happy and healthy and love their single lives, and too many people who know single people who are thriving for the misperceptions to endure.”

DePaulo offers clear and concise advice to all single people out there, “Living your single life fully, joyfully, and unapologetically—even as other people are insisting, without any good scientific basis, that you must be less healthy than your married counterparts—is a good way to maintain your good health.”

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There are many clear benefits that come together with leading a single life, such as: partaking in regular exercise, having more close friends, ending up with less debt, and becoming self-sufficient.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these positive outcomes of being single.

You partake in regular exercise

“Many single women and men care about their health and their well-being,” says DePaulo. “They exercise, eat right, and live overall healthy lifestyles.”

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Astroglide’s resident sexologist, Dr. Jess, supports this idea and notes, “ A study of 13,000 Americans aged 18 to 64 found that those who have never been married get more exercise than all other relationship categories (divorced/separated, married, or widowed), regardless of age and gender. Since exercise is positively correlated with a host of positive health measures including positive mood, high energy levels, favorable sleep patterns, improved cardiovascular fitness, and even sexual functioning, it seems that singles are onto something good!”

Furthermore, a 2004 study from the University of Maryland concurred that unmarried adults exercised more than married ones. This study even included married people without kids.

A British survey conducted in 2011 also supports findings. Researchers discovered that 76% of married men and 63% of married women did not partake in the 150 minutes of physical activity that adults are recommended to do. Comparatively, only 33% of single men and women failed to undertake the same amount of exercise.

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You have more close friends

“Some experts suggest that single people may be more resilient and may form stronger social networks than married people, as they may look for additional opportunities to socialize,” says Dr. Jess.

A 2006 University of Massachusetts at Amherst study discovered that single people were better at maintaining relationships with friends, neighbors, and their wider family than married people.

“Single people—especially single women—often have networks of people who are important to them,” says DePaulo. “They have ‘the ones’ rather than ‘the one.’”

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You end up with less debt

Debt is one of the great stresses in life. It has been found that single people tend to have less debt.  Although debt cannot be classified as a health issue, it has been shown to impact negatively on both emotional and physical well-being.

Once more, in a 2014 survey of over 2,000 adults in relationships, one in three admitted to “financial infidelity”. In other words, they lied to their partner about their money status. This shows that money can be the cause of tension in a relationship.

You become self-sufficient

People who are single tend to relish the time they have to themselves. In fact, when thinking about spending time alone, almost none of them fear that they will be lonely. Rather, they look forward to the solitude.

Summation

If you are living the single life, don’t be victim to the negative stereotypes. Know that going solo has many benefits that can leave you feeling healthier and happier than those who have tied the knot.

Featured photo credit: Ask Men via askmen.com

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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